Coffee Table books

Here’s the list of books that we talked about on Coffee Table this morning.

Update on Friday, 10/17: Here’s the audio link.



Hero of Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard. Terry also strongly recommended The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by the same author.

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey.

1984 by George Orwell. (I threw in a plug for Moby Dick here, since Terry raised the dread topic of classics.)

The Billy Boyle crime fiction series, recommended by yours truly.

Thunderstruck by Eric Larson, one of a series of four STEM books recommended by the HLP for their reading series on science, and I must say it sounds like a corker of a book.

An unsigned emailer recommended Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys and Exit West by Moshin Hamid (on my to read shelf as we speak).

Andy called in wanting to know if either of us had read the new Philip Pullman book, and no joy, but he is enjoying the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny.

Teresa called in to recommend to YA novels, The Hate you Give by Angie Thomas and The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Billie Sue Hitchcock (I’ve read the latter and it’s good).

Michael called in to recommend LaRose by Louise Erdrich and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, and to add his hearty endorsement of my recommendation of Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, which he read with his kindergarten class. After which the kids would go to the library and ask for more Kill The Cat books.

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Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter.


The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston. My favorite book of this year.

Al Franken: Giant of the Senate by Al Franken.

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs.

Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant.


Heads or Tails, the 7th Nick Dixon novel by Damien Boyd (crime).

Frontlines series by Marko Kloos, beginning with Terms of Enlistment (sf).

Buffalo Mountain by Frederick Ramsay, and the entire Ike Schwartz series (crime).

Social commentary:

Caped Crusade: Batman and the rise of nerd culture by Glen Weldon.

Children’s books:

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Okay, a book that is over 50 years old, but it is still the evocation of every first day of snow in your childhood. And the US Postal Service has just issued a set of commorative Forever stamps with images from the book. Here is my suggestion for the. perfect. gift. for the kid in your family: A copy of The Snowy Day, and slip a set of the stamps inside.

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Dana View All →

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4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. That is great…I wish they would do it with other Caldecott winners…so agree with you regarding The Lost City of the Monkey God. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the recommendations! I’ve enjoyed many of them and look forward to enjoying others. BTW have you communicated with Damien Boyd? He has an Instagram and Facebook presence and was very nice when I mentioned you had recommended his books.

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